I found myself immersed in chaos.  All around me were the sounds of battle, as men strived to kill each other with swords and spears and axes.  The smell of burning canvas and flesh assaulted my nostrils, and I saw tents on fire.  In the smoky light I could perceive the silhouettes of struggling soldiers.

            I felt adrenalin surge through my body, and I knew that I had to do something, that I was here for some purpose.  However, I did not know whose side I should be on, who I should help.  I could not even see their faces in the dark.  The moon had passed behind dark clouds; the only source of illumination came from the fires around me.  I prayed to God that, if He had some purpose for me here, I be granted the wisdom to discern it.

            I took a moment to acclimate myself to my surroundings.  I seemed to be wearing warm furs and even some light leather armour.  Someone had known that I would need winter gear, even remembering the boots.  Having angelic protectors sure came in handy sometimes.  I mouthed a silent “thank you,” and thought especially of my Mara.  I felt warmed, and then turned to the battle.

            I hefted my white sword in my hand, and walked with purpose towards the nearest struggling figures.  As I reached them, the sword blazed with a bright white light, illuminating both men.  They were intent upon killing each other as they struggled to break each other’s grip on the spear between them.

            I grabbed one of them by the scruff of the neck, pulling them apart with a mighty heave.  They both were knocked off-balance and plopped down in the snow.  They looked up at me in shock.  I let the blade of my glowing sword rest between the two of them, so that they got a good look at it.  It seemed to make an impression, as the bloodlust vanished from their eyes.

            “Play nice.”  I told them firmly, and then walked on. 

            I walked towards the city walls, determining that they must be the defenders against the attack.  For now, it was a safe bet that a defender was less likely to be the aggressor.  It was possible that they were in the wrong, but I was unconcerned with this possibility.  I had no care for who was right or wrong, who started it, or who had justice on their side.  Such things could be decided later.  I was more interested in saving lives.

            I found one man wounded by a sword slash across his chest, but he was not dead yet.  He would be by the dawn if someone didn’t help him, however, so I threw him over my shoulders in a fireman’s carry and hauled him towards the gate.  I walked unmolested, perhaps because of my bright sword, which refused to stop shining, but perhaps it was just luck.

            Though, by now, I don’t honestly believe in luck.

            Near the gates I found someone’s overturned cart, and rested my passenger against its sturdy wooden frame.  He was unconscious anyway, so he certainly did not complain about his accommodations.  I banged on the great gate with the hilt of my sword.

            “There’s a wounded man here!”  I shouted.

            I heard derisive laughter from the ramparts on the wall above me. 

            “Yeah, there’s a lot more than just that one!  We ain’t opening the gate, buddy.  It’s the only thing between us in here and them out there.”  Someone shouted down to me.  I turned away in disgust and set about making a fire for my wounded companion out of nearby materials from tents and broken weapons.  I took off my cloak and wrapped it about his shoulders.

            “I wish I could help you, friend.”  I said.

            My sword flared with even brighter intensity, and then returned to its previous lustre.  The man groaned and looked up at me.

            “Where am I?  What’s happening?”  He asked groggily.

            “What’s the last thing you remember?”  I asked, trying to control my shock that he appeared to be healed.  Inwardly, I praised God.

            “I remember riding towards the city, and then attacking it…” He said, perplexed.  “I wanted to kill them all.  I wanted them dead.”  He sounded surprised, as if such bloodthirsty thoughts had no place in his life.  “That’s awful!”

            “It certainly is.”  I agreed, as perplexed as he was.  “Do you still want to do that?”

            “NO!”  he said vehemently.  “I don’t want to hurt anyone.”

            “Then help me find more people.  No one else has to die.”

            In the light of the fire and my sword I finally got a good look at the man.  He was dressed in a damaged set of furs and a blue uniform under his armour, a uniform I recognized from my visions as that of the Citadel guards.  He was on the side of some of the most vicious men ever to walk the planet, and somehow he had miraculously had a complete conversion from that path.

            Together we searched the nearby area around the gate, bringing more men back to our fire.  No matter what side they had been on, Outlanders or Citadel, they all were cleansed by the sword’s holy power, and then all of them worked cooperatively to find more and bring them back to the circle of campfires we were building.  Soon we had a small camp of our own in the midst of the battle.  I sent out patrols of men, and though they might come back with a few wounds, they were under orders not to kill anyone unless absolutely necessary.  They were only to bring the wounded, unless someone wanted to come of their own free will.

            It was not long before the Outlander troops were falling back into the safety of the fires, assuming that they must belong to their compatriots since they were so close to their gate.  Not long after that, the Citadel troops moved to outflank the circle, surrounding it on every side with cavalry.  I looked around and saw perhaps a hundred men in the circle, all with spears or swords up as they surveyed the surrounding enemy.  One of the men had told me there were thousands out on the plain in the tent city, but now they were either embroiled in fights of their own or they were dead.

            “What are they waiting for?” One man hissed, getting a grip on his spear.  “It’s almost dawn.”

            “Hold fast.”  I said.  “Expect anything.  Only act in self-defence or the defence of another.  I don’t want anyone to die unnecessarily.”

            In the distance I heard something that sounded like rolling thunder.  It sort of reminded me of trains, a low rumble.  I gripped my sword tighter as I saw the cavalry surrounding us stir.  Whatever it was, it was coming towards us.

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